Amazon said Saturday that it was working on plans to assist U.S.-based employees and their immediate families stranded overseas due to a White House order that temporarily bars nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.
Amazon.com said Saturday it was working on plans to assist U.S.-based employees and their immediate families stranded overseas due to a White House order that temporarily bars nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.
In an email to employees, Amazon human resources Vice President Beth Galetti said that it would communicate directly with staffers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen working under temporary employment visas or as U.S. permanent residents and are currently out of the country.
President Trump on Friday barred citizens from those countries from entering the U.S. for an initial period of 90 days, even if they hold valid U.S. visas or are green-card holders.
As for those who are in the U.S., Galetti wrote they should stay put “until further notice as you may be denied re-entry” while the restrictions are in place.
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Those who are based in other countries and are citizens of the nations named in the ban and plan to visit the U.S., “we advise you to cancel (those plans) until the entry restrictions are lifted.”
“We are committed to supporting all of our employees and anyone in their immediate family who may be impacted by this order, including assistance with legal counsel and support, and will continue to monitor any developments,” Galetti wrote.
Amazon didn’t say how many employees were potentially affected. The company employs a substantial number of foreign tech workers, but those in the categories impacted by Trump’s executive order are likely a small minority.
Ron Hira, a Howard University professor who closely tracks the impact of high-skilled foreign labor in the U.S. market, said that in 2013 Amazon either obtained or renewed H1-B professional visas for 1,540 workers, mostly from India (that figure doesn’t include staffers on H-1Bs who already had their visas and were not in the process of renewal.)
Of those, only one employee was from the countries covered by the order (Iran).
At the end of that year, the company had about 117,300 employees.